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Wageningen University (2009)

"The quest for the land" : the case of South African land restitution through strategic partnership model

Basu, S

Titre : "The quest for the land" : the case of South African land restitution through strategic partnership model

Auteur : Basu, S.

Université de soutenance : Wageningen University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2009

Post 1994 the newly democratic government promised to restitute the lands to its native people which were dispossessed by a number of native acts between 1912 to1938 during the apartheid regime. The initial phase of the land restitution has ended up with a dramatic drop-down in the export economy and employment generation of the country. To maintain the developmental and humanist face of land restitution objectives the government along with the World Bank came up with a new liberal policy arrangement known as „Strategic Partnership Model‟. In this model the claimant community was asked to form a Joint Venture Company with an agribusiness company. The owner of the agribusiness company is commonly known as the strategic partners. The basic objective of this model was to educate the community people about the farming knowledge with the help of the agribusiness company within a time frame of fifteen years. This research mainly focused on the post implementation scenarios of the „Strategic Partnership Model‟. A research problem was developed to understand the contradiction between the community‟s expectations with the conduct of the strategic partners i.e. the owner of the agribusiness company. To answer the research question a four month field work had been done in South Africa with one of the communities where the Strategic Partnership Model was implemented. The research is mainly a qualitative one. Data collection methods include informal interviews, participant observation and ethnography. It also includes studying the policy papers. Case studies have been presented to show the logical interpretations that have been derived from the data. A considerable attention is also paid to critically analyze the changes in the policy papers. The research showed with evidence how community people were cheated, betrayed and how their situations were manipulated within this policy frame. Then the research went on to explore the movement from the community in resisting the state and the strategic partners with each and every issue of the Strategic Partnership Model. This process of resisting is marked with severe conflicts, negotiations and achievements on the side of the community. In this way throughout the whole thesis efforts have been made to show how the community subverted the policy framework in accordance with their own convenience. Another important feature of this research is to clearly identify how the intra communal understanding, social relations are being shaped with the issue of Strategic Partnership Model.

Mots clés : land reform / partnerships / communities / land diversion / land ownership / south africa / land rights


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